Climbing Mount Diablo: My Aha Moment on the Mountain

mount diabloWhile most people celebrate MLK Day by volunteering in their communities or just enjoying a day off, I honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy year by climbing Mount Diablo.  One of the things I love most about the Bay Area is exploring the seemingly endless number of parks and hiking trails, but the combination of a nauseating drive up the mountain, trekking uphill, and having to face my fear of heights left me feeling unenthused about this particular adventure.

About ten minutes into the trail, my group found a perfect spot to pause and appreciate the sheer beauty of our surroundings.  Looking out over the East Bay, I saw some of the clearest views of the area I’ve ever seen.  We could see our home, Walnut Creek, to the left of the mountain range, and Concord to the right.

Even though I was initially afraid (okay, and maybe a bit unwilling too) to climb that mountain, I felt a strong sense of reward and accomplishment once I saw the beautiful view, and again when I finished the hike.  It was here that I had an aha moment.  What other mountains are there in my life?  What steps am I afraid to take in my own business?

Set goals and climb the mountain even when it’s scary:

At the end of 2013, we all set goals that we wanted to accomplish this coming year.  Maybe your goals included running a marathon, publishing a new book, increasing your hourly fee, or starting a Facebook page for your consulting business.  One of my goals for 2014 was to write something each day.  It doesn’t matter if it’s for my blog, an eBook, or a client – it just has to be the first task I do at the beginning of each work day.  Sometimes this feels like climbing a mountain, but I know if I do a little bit each day, I may just accomplish something.

What about when you just can’t find the energy to take that first step?  At the WIC General Meeting in January, Bobbie LaPorte talked about work-life balance.  She referenced a Harvard Business Review study that found that regular exercise helps you balance work and family.  Although somewhat counterintuitive, exercise leads to an expansion of time.  This is because it reduces stress and enables you to be more productive in other aspects of your life. Further, exercise increases self-efficacy and enables you to have more confidence to take on tasks that otherwise may feel overwhelming.

Are there mountains you’ve had to climb in your business?  What did you learn from the experience?  Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.  I’d love to hear them.' About Alicia Woodfall-J​ones

Alicia Woodfall-Jones studied to be a teacher but found she lacked the passion. So, after landing a job at Genentech, she quickly learned she had an affinity for developing efficient and compliant pharmaceutical documentation solutions. Over a decade later, Alicia entered the pharmaceutical consulting world, expanding her experience and knowledge to include technical writing, project management, and instructional design in a variety of companies and functions.

After numerous years working as an independent consultant, Alicia founded Bulletproof Documentation, which specializes in providing consulting technical and medical writers, instructional designers, and project managers to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Since 2008, the company has steadily grown on the reputation of being extremely responsive and providing high quality product with excellent customer service. It took a long time to earn this reputation and it is a most prized possession. It is upheld by every Bulletproof consultant, every day, on every project.

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